The Social Experience: I attended the play with my roommate, Brittany, and my close friend, Megan. Brittany and I both got ready together, and we had to decide what to wear that would be appropriate for a play. I have attended previous plays before, so I picked an outfit that I wore to a different play a few months ago. I enjoyed attending the play with my close friends because I was able to talk with them after and get their input. Additionally, we had dinner after and genuinely enjoyed sharing this experience together. Sharing experiences with one another definitely brings people together because of the commonality that both people can relate to. This strengthens bonds of friendship and creates a sense of empathy towards each other, which plays a vital role in the Good Life. Relationships are very important for the Good Life because good relationships and friendships with those around you make life more enjoyable.
The Spatial Experience: When I entered the theatre, some of the lights were on, and I saw all the props and set pieces on the stage. It was interesting to see the set pieces before and during the play and how the actors used them for the storyline. Brittany, Megan, and I sat in the middle of the theatre, so we each had a great view of the stage and the performers. I was speaking to Megan and Brittany, but when the lights dimmed I immediately became silent. The auditorium was big enough that I could see the actors and the props without having to squint from my seat. Also, I enjoyed how at parts of the play, the actors would walk on the parts of the stage that were closer to the audience. This made me feel as if I were really in the middle of the action of the play. The setting of a place or the environment that you are in contributes significantly to the Good Life. If you are in a place that makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, your experience there will be negatively affected. During this play, I felt very comfortable and was easily able to completely immerse myself into the action of the play without any distractions.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: Before attending the play, I didn't really know anything about the play or the playwright, Michel Marc Bouchard. I researched that Sarah Bernhardt's visit to Quebec in 1905 was a real event which Bouchard decided to turn into a play. During this time, poor children were forced to work in sweatshops, and many of them became ill because of the terrible working conditions, as shown in the play by Talbot's little brother Leo. Also, this play revealed the hidden darkness of the emotional abuse of some victims. This play changed my view by reminding me that not everyone is good, even though they may portray goodness. Additionally, it also reminded me that you can never really know what is truly going on in someone else's life. Even though everything may seem fine about that person, they may be hiding an experience that they wish not to share. Even though the subject matter of this play does not relate to any personal experiences in my life, I know that this abuse does go on even though I am not exposed to it or hear about it frequently.
Cooper, David. Toronto Star. 2015. https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review.html February 3, 2016
The Emotional Experience: During the talkback, the actors said that one of the reasons that they theater so much and why they were so involved was because through theater, they could express anything they wanted to express. Plays can also teach the audience about something or ignite a different point of view that each person can choose to continue to explore outside of the theater. I believe there are two main forms of katharsis in this play: the katharsis about what truly goes on in the sweatshops and Talbot's personal katharsis. By the end of the play, Leo dies because of the harsh working conditions in the sweatshops. This coming clean of the harsh reality of the working life for young children showed people everywhere how workers were really treated at the time. Additionally, Talbot's coming clean and admitting to being a victim of emotional abuse showed others that not all people are who they said they were at the time of the play.